I don’t think I could name one person who has ever started a job search hoping to land in an office with a negative atmosphere; so, why is that the energy so many employees are bringing to work? No one is expected to be happy around the clock- it’s impossible. However, it is important to arrive at work everyday with an optimistic outlook.
One important aspect of combating office negativity is understanding the difference between a good employee having a bad day and someone who is always zoning in on the bad in every situation, who refuses to accept blame, and has an overall negative effect on your office. Work with a “Negative Nancy” and watch the way your entire office improves positively!
Zeynap Ilgaz wrote a piece for Entrepreneur Network offering six tips for “Motivating the Negative Nancy on Your Team”. Check them out below:
- Identify the negative behavior. Recognize bad attitudes and negativity and identify the individual involved after receiving a tip or spotting something.
- Confront the person. Develop a plan to address the individual in a calm, private setting. Set aside enough time to discuss the situation in detail. There may be a reason or a trigger for this behavior.
- Reinforce positive behavior. During the discussion, set goals for change and even play out scenarios. Listen to the employee’s thoughts and ideas about the situation and emphasize the need for a positive attitude moving forward.
- Follow up. Schedule a meeting to discuss the individual’s progress. Recognize and praise positive improvements and attitude.
- Set a good example. The manager should demonstrate positive behavior for staff members -- even on the cloudiest of days. Remind them that problems and setbacks are an inevitable part of business, but each one can serve as a learning experience.
- Invest in positivity. Boost the positivity quotient in the office by fostering programs or activities that will make staffers happy, such as potlucks, games and employee-of-the-month recognitions. Promote physical and mental health by funding employee-fitness programs, planning office yoga classes or creating work spaces with natural light.